Monday, 20 September 2010

Cats- good for the soul

Forget about prescription drugs! Owning a cat is just what the doctor ordered. According to researchers at the University of Minnesota's Stroke Institute in Minneapolis, cats, by nature, alleviate stress and anxiety, and potentially reduce the risk of heart attack in humans by 30 percent. Who knew that independent furball could be so good for you

Cats reduce stress
Dr. Adnan Qureshi, lead researcher in a 10-year study involving more than 4,300 Americans was quoted in U.S. News World and Report to have said, “For years we have known that psychological stress and anxiety are related to cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks.”

According to Dr. Qureshi, if a pet can ameliorate these inciting factors then “clearly having a pet is beneficial.” He added, “In the past, studies have considered dogs but never cats.”

“I absolutely believe it,” agrees Dr. Carol Gamez, who practices veterinary medicine at the Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Redding, Connecticut. “Cats are incredibly entertaining. They respond to touch and voice, and can keep you laughing and smiling all day just by watching and interacting with them,” she adds.
The human feline bond has been nurtured for centuries
It was Mark Twain that said, “I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.”

But the indelible bond between human and feline is one that has intact for more than 10,000 years. Egyptians began to deify cats as early as 3000 B.C, and the oldest known evidence of people keeping cats as pets dates back to 8,000 B.C. Cats have long been adored and admired for their companionship, love, and loyalty. And now add to their already impressive resume, “holistic healers.”
Cats are appealing pets
There are many reasons why cats make great pets. According to Dr. Kimberley Khodakhah, a veterinarian at the Pound Ridge Veterinary Center, cats are “easy, independent, and very personable.”

Khodakhah also points out that cats may be more appealing as pets than dogs, especially to populations susceptible to heart attack, because they are much more self-sufficient. Compared to their upkeep, the unconditional love and affection cats give in return is immeasurable.
Cats offer unconditional love
Meghan Scam, an 18-year-old student and veterinary technician at the Monroe Animal Hospital in Connecticut, knows this first hand.

Scam has owned Callie, a bubbly female calico, since the age of two, and admits to treating her furry friend more like a “child” or a “second sister” than a household pet. Callie is not only a great companion, the 16-year-old feline has always been there to support Meg in times of need.

“It’s as if [Callie] has a sixth sense,” says Scam. “She can always detect when something is up or if someone is upset. She will usually meow quietly or come up and cuddle with you.”

Two years ago, Scam was in a car accident that left her traumatized and afraid to get back behind the wheel. She recalls how Callie helped nurse her back to life right after the incident with soothing purrs and warm licks.
The powerful purr
A cat’s purr (the soft, rhythmic vibration usually produced when a cat is happy or content) may pack more power than its subtle sound lets on.

Though much of why and how a cat purrs still remains a mystery, recent studies suggest that purring acts as a “natural healing mechanism” by promoting bone and muscle regeneration in cats.

According to MSN News, “Exposure to vibrations between ranges of 20 to 140 Hertz (number of cycles per second) is helpful for bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, swelling reduction, wound healing, muscle growth, mobility of joints and repair of tendons and ligaments.”

As it turns out, a cat’s purr ranges between 25 and 140 Hertz, which matches the frequency that has been shown in humans to produce the most therapeutic benefits.

While the link between purring and healing is apparent, Dr. Khodakhah believes that this is only a piece of the puzzle. Cats usually don’t purr for more than 15 minutes at a time, so it may not specifically stimulate changes in blood pressure or improve wound healing.

However, cats typically “purr when it’s a calm and relaxed time, so humans may subliminally associate relaxation with the purring sound, and when you hear it again maybe your body instinctively knows to wind down,” explains Khodakah.

South Shields- fish eye photos

Friday, 17 September 2010

South Shields- The Leas

I have mentioned the Leas a few times but never really explained.The Leas is basically a long long stretch of open air and grass which tops the cliffs parrell with the seafront and stretches along the Shields coast line.

"I remember this view,

as a child and an adult too.

Do you remember, it was oh so long ago, we played on The Leas with footballs and kites,

we walked forever whether at morning or during summer nights.

The wind blew through my hair as we gazed at the ships out there,

and you dreamed of a life at sea and building a life we could share."

South Shields

I've got some cool photos I took on my fisheye at the start of foundation of South Shields just need to wait til I get back to Leeds to scan them in. Hold on.

South Shields goodness

" I know many people wouldn't have much in the way of praise for South Shields but as far as growing up goes, a Sea side town like this isn't all that bad. I think the views and the atmosphere along the seafront is something to be grateful for. The Leas are something you really can't complain amount, the views and the open air are just amazing.

My favourite place would have to be the Marsden steps. They head down from the ice cream kiosk right down to the beach, and if the tide's in you'll head right into the sea. I always remember when I was a kid we went down there and as I was jumping about on the stones I slipped on seaweed and had to go to the first aider haha"

Marsden steps- These are the stairs leading down to the beach at Marsden Bay, South Shields, a steep flight of concrete steps leading to a few more being gradually eroded by sea and sands at the bottom. Running up them is an ideal way to keep yourself fit.

South Shields on 5live

South Shields

So I'm finding that South Shields really isn't that good and I'm pretty sure everyone else would agree. But there are things within it which are by themself, good.

Minchellas icecream
Minchellas is individual to South Shields and holds a few locations around the town. Having occupied these premises since 1943 it has maintained a 50's style Italian expresso bar interior and continues to offer a warm atmosphere in which the customer can relax.

On the sea front, one of Minchellas largest and busiest establishments is situated.
The Walkway offers a perfect opportunity to take time out from the busy beach activity, to enjoy a refreshing drink or a cooling ice cream.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Good manners

"When I used to work in a shop, part of my job was to approach customers and help them out. When I used to ask people if they were OK or needed a hand I was very polite and well mannered, sometimes people were so rude and would either say a simple "no" or plain and simply ignore you. Lovely. And to be honest it really pissed me off!
Likewise if someone asked me to get them something and I went out of my way to get it and they wouldn't even give me a basic thankyou, I would fume. I just think it's really not hard to say please and thankyou, it's soo rude it did actually make a difference to me if people would forget or purposefully ignore the use of good manners"


I asked my Mum, I know she thinks manners are good she made it very apparent when I was growing up that they are a vital part of society.

Do you think it's important to have good manners?
Very important

If yes, why?
People are mainly judged on first impression so to have good manners is a big plus in every day life.

Would it bother you if someone didn't have/use basic good manners?
Yes, to not have good manners is a signof ignorance and therefore comes across as that person being bad mannered.

Good manners

Do you think it's important to have good manners?
Yes defintely, just a few words can make the world of difference showing appreciation, gratitude or apologies.

If yes, why?
I think it shows that someone has resepect and that they are civil, it's not hard to use basic good manners and they are a universally recognised code so they should be used.

Would it bother you if someone didn't have/ use basic good manners?
Yes, especially if I used good manners towards them. I would assume that they are rude and ignorant. It' something that really bothers me actually when people don't use basic good manners.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Fish eye camera-why I love my camera



Ribbon colours
Gingham is an all year round ribbon. Cool lime and lilac for spring, hot pinks and orange for summer, classic red and green for christmas.

No gingerbread man is complete without his red and white gingham bow!!

For my xmas project my audience was old men and I accompanied my brown products with this burgundy gingham ribbon because it is a traditional pattern which can be associated with anything with just the change of colour.


I found this post on another blog from a fine art student- intrinsicallyflorrie


"The gingham look is a girlish one and the smaller prints could possibly have some unwanted connotations of primary school but my love will never waver"

Monday, 6 September 2010


I've chosen to focus this down to gingham because it's one of my favourite prints/patterns.

Conotations of gingham
Country connotations
Food/picnic depending on the colour of the gingham
School girl dresses (again depending on the colour)


So I was looking at patterns and prints and I'm thinking it's a pretty vague subject like biscuits I need to focus on a type of biscuit, so I'm going to look into gingham since I do think it's 'GOOD'

Fish eye camera- why I like my fish eye


Cats- cats as pets- opinions

On yahoo answers I came across some opinions of people who believe that cats make good pets.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Good manners- the existence of manners

Manners help us all coexist without disgusting, hurting and offending each other. When manners fail, people get very upset and try to enforce those social norms with laws. Law is not as gracious and forgiving as etiquette.

Also, good etiquette equips you with the correct response for all situations, so you're never at a loss for words and no one ever gets the upper hand on you. That reason alone is enough to be mannerly, but most people don't realise that.

Good manners

Good manners are never, ever a waste of time. It will get you far in the world and make you, yourself a better person .

Manners have always been relevant in society.

Manners have become familiar signals of cooperation and respect.

Manners are becoming more and more relevant in modern society.

Good manners

It's fair to say that the consideration of other people's feeling is the basis to having good manners...

Good manners

What are basic goodd manners?

Good manners- table manners

Basic table manners

1. Eat with a fork unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers. Only babies eat with fingers.

2. Sit up and do not hunch over your plate; wrists or forearms can rest on the table, or hands on lap. You don't want to look like a Neanderthal.

3. Don't stuff your mouth full of food, it looks gross, and you could choke.

4. Chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to be grossed out seeing food being chewed up or hearing it being chomped on. This includes no talking with your mouth full.

5. Don't make any rude comments about any food being served. It will hurt someone's feelings.

6. Always say thank you when served something. Shows appreciation.

7. If the meal is not buffet style, then wait until everyone is served before eating. It shows consideration.

8. Eat slowly and don't gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.

9. When eating rolls, tear off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating a whole piece of bread looks tacky.

10. Don't reach over someone's plate for something. Politely ask that the item to be passed to you. Shows consideration.

11. Do not pick anything out of your teeth, it's gross. If it bothers you that bad, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to pick.

12. Always use a napkin to dab your mouth, which should be on your lap when not in use. Remember, dab your mouth only. Do not wipe your face or blow your nose with a napkin, both are gross. Excuse yourself from the table and go the restroom to do those things.

13. When eating at someone's home or a guest of someone at a restaurant, always thank the host and tell them how much you enjoyed it. At least say that you liked the dinner or mention a specific item that was particularly tasty, i.e. the dessert was great. Again, someone took time, energy, and expense to prepare the food, so show your appreciation.

Fish eye

Fish eye camera- Top 10 Recipies

Fish eye camera-double exposure

This is one of my favourite pictures I have produced on the camera. I was in Florida with my family and at this weird chinese restaurant they had these huge, colourful fish outside, hundreds of them.

So what I did was I took the first exposure close up of the fish, moved the switch, then got my Dad and my brother to pull a scared or shocked face and this is the result. I love how it looks like they are in with the fish I love it it's so GOOD.

Fish eye camera- Double exposure

So the double exposure or multiple exposure setting is one of the best features of this camera, I believe. Something which many people try to do on a digital SLR but isn't really possible. I have researched into using this technique on a DSLR but nothing comes close to this.

The camera allows you to take as many exposures as you like on the same frame simply by flicking a switch after each shot.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

South Shields

I'm starting to think South Shields isn't really all that 'good.' I'm pretty sure from an outsiders view it isn't too great but being where I grew I thought I could see the good in it, maybe I'll have to keep looking...

South Shields

South Shields- attractions

Souter Lighthouse

The lighthouse started operating in 1871 and was, at the time, the most advanced in the world.

You can explore the lighthouse, starting in the Engine Room. Learn about how lighthouses work through our very friendly guides, interpretation and navigational equipment.

See the family living quarters in the Victorian Keepers Cottage and climb the 76 steps to the top of the tower to enjoy wide views of the coastline, from the mouth of the Tyne to the Tees. Or you can enjoy the same view without leaving the ground floor by operating the remote controlled CCTV.

You can experience the fantastic views of Beaches and Coastline including, The Leas a 2 ½ miles stretch of beach, cliff and grassland with spectacular views and bird sanctuary. Watch the seabirds on the cliffs and around the great sea-stack of the infamous Marsden Rock.

South Shields- fairground

Situated next to Sandhaven Beach, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is a large amusement park incorporating rides, amusements and games providing you with the best family entertainment. The Park regularly changes attractions and rides to provide visitors with new exciting experiences year on year. With the fair being right on the beach it makes a great day out in the sunshine.

The fairground includes the usual fairground rides,the ghost train, dodgems, waltzers, trampolines. The fairground is something I think is 'good' because it's part of my childhood, my parents would take me and my brother when we were younger as we lived right nearby, nothing is better when your'e a kid than a day of fun like this.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Fish eye features

B” (Bulb) setting
In response to heavy demand from the Lomographic Community at large, the Fisheye 2 has a slamming long-exposure setting. By holding down the shutter button with your finger, you can keep the shutter open for as long as you like – thereby inviting all the gorgeous ambient light outside to come on in. To close the shutter, merely release the button. When using 400ISO film, keeping the shutter open for about 1-3 seconds is usually enough for a nightime city shot. Extend that to 5 seconds or so for a streaky overexposure. If it's really dark out, then let the shutter go for 10-20 seconds. For the sharpest images, place your camera onto something sturdy. Given the Fisheye 2's super-wide-angle view, handheld shots can be pretty sharp too – as long as you hold still. For buckwild abstracts – move you camera around with the shutter open – or even twist it in a circle!

“LNB” variable exposure switch

Use this to control your Fisheye 2's shutter timing. “L” locks the shutter so it can't accidentally fire. “N” shoots a normal, instant exposure (1/100 sec, f/8). “B” or “bulb” selects Fisheye 2's long exposure capabilities – as detailed above.

Standard Flash Hotshoe & Built-In Electronic Flash
Use this to sync a Lomographic Colorsplash Flash or any other manual hotshoe flash to your Fisheye 2. The flash will fire when you hit the shutter release. You can also use the internal (built-in) flash as well.

First and Second-Curtain Flash
When using the “N” setting, both the internal and hotshoe flash will fire when you hit the shutter button (first curtain). If you select “B,” then the hotshoe flash will fire when you first depress the button (first curtain), and the internal flash will fire when you let go of the button (second curtain).

Multiple Exposure Switch (MX)
This allows you to take two or more shots on the same frame. Take your first shot, press the MX button, and you're now ready for the next one. Repeat as many times as you like.

Accessory Viewfinder
Do you see what I see? If your camera suddenly comes alive, looks you in the eye, and asks you this question – then you can calmly reply, “I sure do.” Just slip this little jewel into the hotshoe and you'll get an authentic preview of the fisheye treat waiting for you to capture it.

Full Metal Jacket
If those rowdy bikers are giving you a hard time, then just show ‘em the Fisheye 2's new hard-as-nails metal-plated exterior. Built for toughness, but refined for beauty – you'll feel equally comfortable slinging your camera at a Texas Hog Pit or a Parisian Debutante Ball.

Fish eye- overview


  • Size: 4.25" (10.5cm) x 2.5" (6cm) x 2.5" (6cm)
  • Weight: 0.5lb (0.23kg)
  • Format: all 35mm (color negative, slide, b&w)
  • Field of Vision: 170 degrees
  • Approximate focal length: 10mm
  • Fixed aperture: f/8
  • Shutter speeds: 1/100, “B“
  • Flashes: Standard hotshoe & built-in flash (powered by one “AA“ battery)
  • Multiple Exposure switch for unlimited shots on 1 frame
  • Film can be processed at any 35mm lab, supermarket, drug store, swapmeet, etc.

Fish eye- design

THE BEST COMPACT FISHEYE CAMERA EVER CONCEIVED. First off, the Fisheye No. 2 includes a “B“ setting – allowing the shutter to stay open and admit that goreous natural nightime light outside. Next, a multiple exposure switch enables as many shots as you like on the same frame. A fisheye viewfinder gives you a real view into the world you're shooting. A flash hotshoe allows for easy use with the wunderbar Colorsplash Flash. I tell you, this camera is a bona-fide Fisheye sensation, and the new treats don't end there. Head out to our Specifications page to get the full story.

It captures nearly 180-degrees of your surrounding environment, it yields a nearly circular shot on a rectangular image, it can be used day or night, it looks incredibly suave, it's light and compact for easy pocket-carrying, and most importantly: it will absolutely knock you head over rear with its breathtakingly distorted and fierce images!

Cats- cats are funny

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Good manners- the difference between ettiquette and manners

Etiquette and manners are both critical to functioning in society. While both of these concepts involve rules of behavior, they are slightly different, and they involve different types of skills. They also vary from culture to culture, as standards of conduct are heavily based on cultural tradition and heritage.

Manners involve general behavioral guidelines, such as treating the elderly with respect and courtesy. Etiquette is a specific code of behavior, with an example of etiquette being knowledge of the proper mode of address for a Queen, which is, incidentally “Your Majesty.” In some societies, people regard etiquette as elitist and unnecessarily refined, but this is actually not the case. Many of the rules of etiquette are already practiced by people with good manners, and a demonstration of familiarity with etiquette and manners will mark someone as cultured, polite company.


"Good manners go a long way..."

Good manners

Manners pertain from everything from how to introduce people to how to eat. While the precise nature of good manners may vary, the underlying principles do not. Good manners involve treating people with respect and courtesy, and in making sure that other people feel comfortable in a variety of situations. The old Biblical rule of “do as you would be done by” is sometimes used as an illustration of how manners are supposed to work.

Someone who has been properly trained will usually show more respect and deference to people who are older, as well as people who hold senior positions of authority. Good manners usually involves using respectful forms of address, such as formal titles, and being attuned to social situations to use the activities of others as behavioral cues. For example, someone who has never eaten a formal dinner can still demonstrate good manners by following the examples of others around the table.

Good manners

Good manners are a set of behaviors which mark someone as a civilized and cultured member of a society. Manners are usually taught from a very young age, with some people receiving additional training in etiquette, formal rules of conduct which apply to a variety of situations. Someone who lacks good manners may be considered boorish or inappropriate, and he or she may be at a disadvantage in many social situations.

As a general rule, people learn the manners which pertain to their particular social, economic, and cultural situation, and travelers must learn specific rules of conduct to fit in as they visit other societies.

South Shields- by the beach

South Shields seafront is a beautiful place to visit all year round. The golden stretch of Sandhaven Beach, with its backdrop of dunes, is especially popular with visitors. Littlehaven Beach lies at the mouth of the River Tyne and offers excellent sailing, windsurfing and angling opportunities, as well as panoramic views of the estuary. There is fun for all the family, at the Ocean Beach Amusement Park South Shields; with an exciting choice of the latest fairground rides, alongside traditional rides for younger children.

South Shields beach

Marsden beach- further along the coast

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cats as pets

Why cats make good pets

1. Cats take care of themselves. Did you ever notice how often you will see cats grooming themselves? After eating, being in rain or snow, and after a tussle with another animal, cats will take a few moments to lick a paw and use it to wipe their faces, ears, and other hard-to-reach places. You'll never have to bathe your cat. She can handle the job herself. They also can feed themselves, if left outdoors long enough. From field mice to birds, most healthy cats are unlikely to go hungry when natural outdoor life forms abound.

2. Cats are fun and funny. Most are quite curious. They poke their noses into paper bags, climb under the hood of a car, or sidle up to strangers to have a look, or rather, a sniff. They enjoy climbing to high places, such as trees, gutters, and walls. They have been known to climb up the side of an above-ground swimming pool for a look, and nearly drown after falling in. Kittens will chew their tails, chase a thread, or run after a ball. They love to have fun, and amuse us in the process.

3. Felines make good friends. Cats seem to have that sixth sense that tells them when something is wrong in their owner's life. If you feel down, frustrated, or irritated, your kitty may come running to wrap herself around your leg or jump into your lap and nuzzle your chin. She will cuddle alongside you for a nap, feeling secure beside the one person in the world she can trust. Cats typically bring their kills home, and you will likely find the bodies of their victims in the yard or on the porch as trophies of the night's hunt, offered to Caesar as a share of the spoils.

4. Cats don't cost much. Inexpensive kitty food, occasional veterinarian visits for shots and neutering, perhaps a collar and feeding bowls, and kitty litter are all you may need. An empty spool or toilet paper roll make great toys that cost nothing. There are no grooming costs, carpet messes to clean, or obedience schools for enrollment. Cats simply exist to be what they are.

5. Some cats seem to have nine lives. They land on their feet after a fall and find their way home after being lost. Stories abound of cats that were locked in a basement or trapped in a newly constructed house wall for days and yet surviving to return to their masters. Certain cats can even co-exist with dogs or other cats, despite their seemingly spoiled nature. There are many attractive breeds or mixes, like calicos, that cat lovers can't resist.

Patterns- Gingham

One of my favourite patterns is gingham because of its sort of kitsch connotations and it's innocent, petite checkered, overall look.

Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn.

The name originates from an adjective in the Malay language, ging-gang, meaning striped. Some sources say that the name came into English via Dutch. When originally imported into Europe in the 17th century it was a striped fabric, though now it is distinguished by its checkered pattern. From the mid 18th century, when it was being produced in the mills of Manchester, England, it started to be woven into checked or plaid patterns (often blue and white). Checked gingham became more common over time, though striped gingham was still available in the late Victorian period.

Gingham is made of carded or combed, medium or fine yarns, where the coloring is on the warp yarns and always along the grain. Gingham has no right or wrong side with respect to color.

Along with muslin, gingham is often used as a test fabric while designing fashion, or used for making an inexpensive fitting shell prior to making the clothing in fashion fabric.

Gingham shirts have been worn by mods since the 1960s and continue to be identified with fans of indie and mod music with brands like Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green, Fred Perry, Rough Trade and Merc producing gingham shirts.

Fish eye- good photos

These are photos I've taken from the lomography facebook page. I chose some of the fisheye images which I think are best. I love the colours and the effects the camera produces and how every photo is different.